BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– The National Center for Education Statistics reported a major decline in both reading and mathematics assessments during the pandemic.

Between 2020 and 2022, reading scores saw the largest drop since 1990, and math scores dropped for the first time.

Two areas of focus in a report from Nexstar’s WVNS were McDowell and Mercer County. According to the data from the West Virginia Board of Education, McDowell County has one of the lowest assessment achievements.

Data shows that in McDowell County 82% of students either partially meet or do not meet assessment standards in mathematics, and 72% of students either partially meet or do not meet the standards in reading. This data leaves a collective of 18% of students meeting mathematics testing and 28% meeting the reading standard.

Dr. Sonya White, the Teaching and Learning Officer with the State Board of Education talked about why the numbers look the way they do.

“I think just having that face-to-face time with their teacher every day and getting consistent instruction probably lead to the score decrease we saw in 2021,” Dr. White said.

In Mercer County, 69% of students don’t meet mathematic assessment standards while 60% don’t meet reading testing standards.

WVNS reached out to Mercer County Schools and have yet to receive a response.